Facebook to integrate Messenger Rooms with WhatsApp

Facebook to integrate Messenger Rooms video app with WhatsApp soon; is this endgame of Zoom?

Last week, Facebook announced to bring the multi-utility video chatting app Messenger Rooms along with a new update for WhatsApp, to increase the limit from four to eight people in a video call.

Now, a new report has emerged that Mark Zuckerberg-owned company has a much bigger plan to capitalise on the growing demand for a stable and secure video conference app. 

In most parts of the world under lockdown, corporate meetings and even school education are being conducted through online platforms. In the past several weeks, Zoom has emerged as the most popular tool. However, sustained usage has also revealed several chinks in the Zoom app's security and user privacy policy.

Facebook, which has the habit of incorporating popular features of the rival applications into Instagram and WhatsApp is now reportedly planning to integrate Messenger Rooms with its messenger apps.

Ever reliable community website WABetaInfo, which tracks WhatsApp beta testing has uncovered the 'Rooms' option in the latest WhatsApp Android v2.20.139.

WhatsApp beta for Android shows Messenger Rooms options (Credit: WABetaInfo)

It is seen in the WhatsApp's shortcut to the Facebook Messenger. Users will be able to directly open the app to initiate video conferences or share files or photos and other stuff.

Is this the endgame for the Zoom video conference app?
Besides WhatsApp, speculations are rife that Facebook might also bring Messenger Rooms shortcut to Instagram.

The company, which has more than 3 billion active users in WhatsApp (2 billion-plus) and Instagram (1 billion-plus), it will be easy for Facebook to divert Zoom consumers (200 million-plus) to Messenger Rooms.

But, this won't be an easy task as Facebook, like Zoom, is also guilty for its flawed user-privacy policy. Since the 2016 Presidential Elections and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mark Zuckerberg's company is under the scrutiny of various governments around the world. It has made progress in making easy access to Facebook users to their activity log and also offering more control to them on what data can be used or denied.

In the recent announcement of Messenger Rooms, Facebook was honest enough to mention that video chat is not end-to-end encrypted on Messenger Rooms, but will try hard to make it soon.

Must read | WhatsApp increases group video call users' limit

"Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted. While there are significant challenges to providing end-to-end encryption for video calling with large groups of people, we’re actively working toward this for Messenger and Rooms," Facebook said.

So, this gives Zoom some breathing space to overhaul its privacy policy and make its video conference app more secure.

As of now, no one has the upper hand, but whoever acts fast, will get the consumers' attention. 

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